THINK Week in Review – The “Digital Banking” Edition

As more and more people engage with the new technologies, it is changing nearly every business model. Customer onboarding and engagement, loan and risk management, branch services - all these areas are being changed by the digital innovations. The new wave comes with the power of innovation; the digital transformation of the banking industries is one of the key challenges ahead - and certainly a big opportunity for the industry to renew itself. Here’s just one advantage: How Digital Banking can protect against the Big Tech Invasion. “As succinctly stated in the Bain research report, “If banks don’t reorient their approach and radically accelerate their rate of progress, loyalty will suffer, and they will watch technology firms poach more business. Meanwhile, their economics will erode as too many routine transactions continue to flow through expensive branch and call-center networks.” There is a great advantage in the customer and member insights that traditional financial institutions possess. The key is to apply these insights in ways that directly and positively impact the digital experience, similar to how large tech firms currently improve shopping, social, search and payments. Enterprise Consolidation leads 2018 Digital Banking Trends. “In 2018, AI and other new technologies will continue to dramatically change the ways consumers interact with the world around them, including how they bank. Banks and credit unions must be able to quickly offer a wide variety of digitally-optimized options, for everything from payments to account opening to customized analytics, to ensure they continue to play a central role in their customers’ and members’ lives.” How to navigate the politics of an Innovation Project. “Everyone wants innovation in their organization; it drives growth and revenues, promotes cultural change, and moves society forward. We often forget, however, that meaningful innovation efforts can have a disruptive side. Namely, some people’s ideas will win, and those of others will lose. That’s because innovation requires allocation and deployment of organizational resources, often significant amounts, without definitive proof of future returns. This ambiguity allows politics to enter into the choice process, as people attempt to influence decision-makers toward favoring innovations that advance their individual interests.” Bitcoin is a delusion that could conquer the world. “What seems most certain is that the future of money will test our conventional definitions—of currencies, of bubbles, and of initial offerings. What’s happening this month with bitcoin feels like an unsustainable paroxysm. But it’s foolish to try to develop rational models for when the market will correct itself. Prices, like currencies, are collective illusions. And the history of American bubbles suggests that national hallucinations, like the over-construction of the rail system in the 19th century, can undergird the very real transformations of the next generation.” The death of a Toy Retailer: How a lack of Digital Transformation helped destroy Toys R Us” “Companies that are not investing in the digital transformation of their organization are more likely to be susceptible to disruption in the market. Toys "R" Us should have developed a digital strategy that would have catered to their customers and attracted prospects before Amazon took off. The lack of focus in this area made the overwhelming debt and inability to compete with giants like Amazon, Walmart, and Target insurmountable. Investing in digital capabilities would have made this company more agile and provided their customers with the types of experiences they were looking for.” Is the economy suffering from the crisis of attention?  “The first issue is that the more our attention is ‘captured’ by the algorithms that underpin consumer technologies, the less our decisions – what to click on, what to buy – can be said to reveal our true, underlying preferences. Of course, adverts have been around for a long time but the argument is that the use of Big Data to exploit psychological vulnerabilities in a targeted way, using the latest insights from neuroscience, changes the game: it prevents us from “wanting what we want to want”. This should concern economists because models of consumer behavior rest largely on the assumption of ‘revealed preferences’.”